Every middle class kid remembers the agonizing pain of attending one of their mother’s Tupperware parties. Unless you grew up in the 1950s these weren’t actually parties for selling airtight containers, but were usually for selling anything from fancy kitchenware to makeup, and knock off purses. Now there’s a new kind of party in business, and this one certainly doesn’t allow children. Welcome to the new generation of Tupperware: sex toy parties.
Companies with names like Passion Parties, Tasteful Treasures, Bedroom Kandi and Intimate Expressions have all taken the Tupperware party approach to salesmanship, but instead of selling makeup or kitchenware the companies market lotions, lubes, massage oils and of course, sex toys. While toys aren’t actually used at the parties, demonstrations and samples are given.
Sex toy parties have actually been around for quite a while. They started in the ‘70s but didn’t gain popularity until the ‘90s. As sex and sex toys have found themselves thrust into mainstream media, the parties have become increasingly popular. As sex toys and other bedroom accessories have become more frequent in movies, books and television, the untrue stigmas of toys being for sluts, desperate couples, and sex addicts have begun to fade away.
Christina Houck is a Tampa resident and consultant for the company Pure Romance.
She said that her job involves coordinating, “In-home women-only parties, featuring relationship enhancement products, demonstrations, games, and confidential shopping.”
“Being a consultant for over a year now I see first-hand the large number of women who are shedding inhibitions and taking control of their sexual fulfillment and happiness,” Houck said.
Houck reported most of her customers to be over 30 years old, many of which are in committed relationships or even married.
“Women over 30 are so much more in tune with their bodies, what feels good, what doesn’t and how to express that,” Houck said. “They’re ready to see the next level of pleasure, to experiment with someone they love and trust and find out how great all types of sex can be.”
This is wonderful for older women, but they’re not the only ones who can benefit from these parties. While they seem like nothing more than entertainment for bachelorette parties or giggling housewives whose husbands are away on business, sexy toy parties can have many benefits for younger adults who are just discovering their own bodies and sexuality. It’s never too late to explore your sexuality, but for those who want to start a little younger there shouldn’t be any shame.
College can be known as a time for sexual experimentation. For some, this time of learning could include hooking up with lots of people, and for some it could mean just spending lots of ~alone time~. Toys can be a great guide no matter how one chooses to take the journey. However, with the stigma that still surrounds sex toys, it can be hard to get started or find what’s really right for a person’s body.
Many young girls can remember trips to Spencer’s Gifts with her more adventurous friend, watching her chat with the cashier casually as he scans her glow-in-the-dark dildo. For some, Amazon is great for discreet shipping but tends to offer mostly low-quality products. Parties can be a great way for those who are shy or not sure what they want to get educated and figure out what’s right for them.
Beyond guiding the shy and inexperienced, many products offered at these types of parties can help those whose medical conditions interfere with their sex lives. Women going through menopause, suffering from depression or undergoing cancer treatment often experience intimacy-related issues like pain during sex or lack of sensitivity, according to the Mayo Clinic and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. The company Pure Romance works with a team of medical professionals to give customers accurate information and formulate products that are safe and effective based on research and case studies. Pure Romance also works with the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health to help fund research for intimacy-related issues in women such as vulvovaginal pain disorders and sexual health issues related to menopause and cancer treatment.
Sex toy parties may only be exclusively for women, but that doesn’t mean men get left out. There are a wide variety of toys on the market for men to use with and without partners. No one, regardless of gender, relationship status or age should be ashamed of their sexuality. Technology and society have progressed so much over the years. Times are changing. It’s time to stop being embarrassed and keep up.
Selene San Felice can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Need advice from our Sex and Love columnist? Want us to cover something specific? Go to http://ask.fm/MinaretLoveAdvice and send in your questions anonymously.